History of the Conquest of Mexico (Paperback)
"It is a magnificent epic," said William H. Prescott after the publication of "History of the Conquest of Mexico" in 1843. Since then, his sweeping account of Cortes's subjugation of the Aztec people has endured as a landmark work of scholarship and dramatic storytelling. This pioneering study presents a compelling view of the clash of civilizations that reverberates in Latin America to this day.
"Regarded simply from the standpoint of literary criticism, the "Conquest of Mexico" is Prescott's masterpiece," judged his biographer Harry Thurston Peck. "More than that, it is one of the most brilliant examples which the English language possesses of literary art applied to historical narration. . . . Here, as nowhere else, has Prescott succeeded in delineating character. All the chief actors of his great historic drama not only live and breathe, but they are as distinctly differentiated as they must have been in life. Cortes and his lieutenants are persons whom we actually come to know in the pages of Pres-cott. . . . Over against these brilliant figures stands the melancholy form of Montezuma, around whom, even from the first, one feels gathering the darkness of his coming fate. He reminds one of some hero of Greek tragedy, doomed to destruction and intensely conscious of it, yet striving in vain against the decree of an inexorable destiny. . . . Prescott] transmuted the acquisitions of laborious research into an enduring monument of pure literature."
"From the eBook edition.
About the Author
Prescott ranks alongside Francis Parkman and Edward Gibbon as a master historian.
James Lockhart, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, is the author of Spanish Peru, 1532–1560 and several substantial articles on the theory and practice of Latin American social history. He previously taught at Colgate University and the University of Texas, and has served as associate editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review.